Cardinals chat: Derrick Goold takes your questions at 11 a.m. Monday

Cardinals chat: Derrick Goold takes your questions at 11 a.m. Monday

Bring your Cards questions and comments to a live chat with Derrick Goold at 11 a.m. Monday

    Fans would enjoy that, for sure. Finishing with the team that first drafted him -- there's some nice symmetry there.
    DG, The Cards under MO seemed to change their roster management in regard to 2B, Cf and pitching. I seem to remember them turning over players at 2B and refraining overspending there. The same in CF and relief pitching too. Then they went to spending on relief, extending Kolten. Are the Cards attempting to go back to their once used model?
  • They are exploring that as an option, yes. They did do that -- until they had homegrown players to install and keep there. There's definitely that sense with 2B, at the moment. That's because they had the option. And they see the market providing plenty of options out there, including former SS, like you used to see the Cardinals do. I wouldn't include CF in that group, not at the moment. They are optimistic on that position's situation at the moment.
  • Derrick.
    Do you see the Cardinals making any trades before 12/2 to clear roster space. How would the Cardinals be able to sign anyone with only 1 available roster spot?
    Yes, it's a tell about the timing. No, it's not restrictive. The Cardinals would clear room by making another move. They could DFA someone right away, pass then through waivers or trade them, and that spot is immediately open for a new player.
    Is the issue of playing time part of the Yadi negotiations? Yadi is going to have to give Knizner or even Herrera some playing time, don’t you think?
    I don't know if he will. He doesn't want to script that. At least that's what he said when I asked if he wanted some guarantee of number of starts, etc. He told me knows that if he returns to the Cardinals he has to earn his playing time as the everyday catcher, and that he intends to do that, and that does start with what they're ready to offer him. He was clear on that.
    Do you think it's more likely the Cardinals return the same outfield next season or Matt Carpenter starts at least 75 percent of games between 3B/DH?
    It's more likely Matt Carpenter starts that often.
    No fake name here. However, I have nothing to say today other than, Thanks for the chats. Even when there's not really much new to say.
    I know the Cards are focused on Yadi and AW, but could you rank the Cardinals priorities to improve other position groups. 3b? SP? 2b? OF? I am having trouble getting a sense of the Cardinals’ “plan” this season. I know it’s early and slow, but it seems like there is usually an identifiable shopping list by now.
    You and the Cardinals both. The way the team is describing things at the moment is a lot like you are -- usually there is a shopping list. This isn't usual. Usually they have a sense of their payroll budget for the coming season. This isn't usual. Usually they have a real feel for the availability of all players and not many surprises or depressed salaries. This isn't usual. One of the reasons why you have questions like this as a fan is because the team has questions like this, too, and no answers as of yet.
    As far as the list of priorities -- improving the offense is on there, and the places the Cardinals see they can do that is by adding to the OF and changing the look of the rotation in the infield. As outlined several different places this winter here at the PD, that means looking at positions as groups, not just one players. That means finding a complement for Edman at 2B, or righthanded complement for Carpenter at 3B who plays 2B when Carpenter plays third. That means thinking about the outfield as a unit of more than three, and how to maximize the matchups there. Those are where their eyes are looking.
    DG, please forgive my assumption? I was thrilled to see you answer Portland to the "Expansion" city question, but I know the real reason....Powells is a great place without question, but you do know there are several well known "Comic Book" stores in town correct? ....The real question is this, the PDX Diamond Project has been hard at work for several years and has a few heavy hitters backing it, do you have any insight on what our chances are of landing an expansion team or perhaps a relocated one?
    Yes, there are excellent comic books shops there, too. I have enjoyed my visits there -- going back to covering the NBA, or even a recent trip there to see a college friend and dart out to where the Goonies took place and Cannon Beach with my family.
    With regards to Portland, I mostly only know what I read and what I've seen with their grassroots movement to generate interest and commitments and attention. Nashville is perceived in the game as ahead of other candidates, and we do know that Montreal has long been in the mix because of the split-season once discussed for the Tampa Bay Rays.
    I wanted to follow up on the need for thump. We know the Cards lack slugging, but they also have a strikeout problem. (I know that makes me old-fashioned).

    Is this an opportunity for The Cards to zig instead of zag? Seems like hitters who put the ball in play with some power is exactly what the lineup needs, rather than another high strikeout guy. Two who fit that profile are Turner and Brantley. What are your thoughts about adding a good line drive hitter in the middle of the order, rather than a true outcome slugger?
    That would be preferable, for sure. The Cardinals, like many other teams, would take the line drive hitter like you describe ahead of the three true outcome hitter. The trouble is -- they're just rare. They just are. I like the way you put this -- zig when others zag -- because it allows us to have this discussion.
    That's part of the trouble the Cardinals have had with their offense.
    They're caught between zigging and zagging, and this was something they've brought on themselves. They do have a strikeout problem. But the problem isn't the strikeouts. It's the fact that they have a high strikeout rate and they're not getting the power exchange. That's a bad tradeoff. Their strikeout rate isn't so awful if it's rewarded with consistent damage, with power. It hasn't been. The Cardinals wanted to move toward a contact-oriented approach -- remember that was what they initially described with Jeff Albert, and manager Mike Shildt has also described -- but they didn't have the personnel or the approach buy-in initially, and that was the learning curve all parties described. They wanted to zig, but didn't have the ability to zig, and so they zagged, and didn't have the personnel to zag. 
    This is how they got in the fix they've been in.
    Oviedo is NOT ready for a spot in the rotation, much too raw.
    He has potential, but his command needs work.
    He needs at least another year in the minors to work on his stuff.
    OK. But what if there are no minors?
    Is there any chance they move in the CF fences?
    Have not heard any discussion of this. We'll continue to ask, every so often. This shouldn't be a news, but it's worth repeating: The Cardinals like that their ballpark is pitcher friendly.
    People say Edmond had a off year, because of his great rookie year, but didn’t he outhit Wong in all most every stat last year.
    We can actually look that information up real quick.
    Kolten Wong: .265/.350/.326, .675 OPS, 26 R, 1 HR, 16 RBIs, 5 SB, 87 OPS+, 1.1 offensive WAR, and 23 Runs Created.
    Tommy Edman: .250/.317/.368, .685 OPS, 29 R, 5 HR, 26 RBIs, 2 SB, 87 OPS+, 0.8 offensive WAR, and 23 Runs Created.
    So, no. No he did not come close to outhitting Wong in "almost every stat." It was, at best, even,
    Do you think the Cardinals ownership feels an obligation to the fans beyond an economic transaction? Its not like fans can easily choose a different hometown MLB team.
    I do, yes. From speaking to Bill DeWitt Jr. through the years, his fondness for the history of baseball is clear, and his awareness of what the Cardinals mean to St. Louis is strong. He sees the fans as part of the Cardinals history, not investors in the latest startup. It is possible to be appreciative of the history and to value the history and also run a business. Consider the other big businesses that have defined St. Louis, and, in some cases, what they weren't able to do because of the business.

    Let me disagree with you for a minute. It didn’t take a spider bite to give you a super power. You can stich words together like few others. We’re lucky to have you 162+ days a season – and beyond.

    Today, as rosters are, I think the ‘birds are as competitive as anyone in the division. And isn’t that what the DeWitts’ have stated (many times) as their goal each year.

    Speaking of the DeWitts, do you know what percentage of the Cardinals they own?
    Thanks for the kind words, truly. I do type at a speed above average. Perhaps that is my mutant power. Not exactly that stuff that gets me a spot in the Xavier School for the Gifted and a catchy nickname. But there are worse skills, I suppose.
    So, Bill DeWitt Jr. owns a portion of the Cardinals; just a portion. And then there are other pieces of ownership owned by groups that he's affiliated with. The DeWitt Family -- writ large -- owns a plurality of the Cardinals. That is not a majority, I'm told, but a plurality where it would be larger than any other signal owner's share. 
    If the business of baseball is not as profitable as DeWitt says, why go thru all the motions the Cardinals LLC do. Nobody good at business throws good money after bad. Nobody, period! It’s such a silly notion that he speaks like that as an apparent educated individual....
    Baseball is very profitable. That wasn't his point. He misspoke. That's clear. 
    But the horse is out of the barn, I guess Chase it yourself.
  • Could you provide any insight (if you have them) as to what metrics Mr. DeWitt uses to judge the on-the-job performance of his front office? I get he has expressed no interest in changing the regime, and I'm trying to better understand how the FO has been performing through his eyes.
    Organizational health. That's a good way to look at it. Shildt might call it "holistic." So that include the farm system, the coaching, the success at the major-league level, and the message control at all levels, and the revenue, and expenses, yes. The general cohesiveness of the organization. Look no further than the last significant change DeWitt made for the front office. What caused that? A front office with factions and fractures, and fault lines that separated the minor-league staff from the major-league group, and DeWitt's insistence that they were going to get modern, get homegrown, and the front office had to get with that program. You can see the metrics he uses by where the emphasis has been -- for example, they relished the year they won the pennant AND ranked first in farm systems -- and even more so in the last time he made a change, or even when you think back to why there was a change made at manager. It was communication. It was cohesion. It was cooperation. It was direction. And it wasn't just all wins and losses.
    What have the "experts" had to say about Waino's playoff TV stint? Good,Bad, or ?
    Enthusiastic. No surprise. It will be interesting to watch how his path to Cooperstown could be behind the microphone, eh?
    What is your process for deciding which questions to ask in press conferences (when there were press conferences)? Was there any phrasing or subject you refused to include?
    I try to be polite. I start there -- until the person gives me reason not to be, and then I'll be sarcastic, or pointed, or blunt. I won't use rude language or name-calling. I try to respect my fellow reporters who have questions too and deserve the floor to ask them. But I also know there is news, and direct questions on direct news must be asked. I'm not sure what topics I wouldn't ask about, because I've had the chance to ask some uncomfortable ones through the years, for sure.
    I tend to ask questions based on the answers I'm going to get.
    The Cardinals had a manager who really liked to correct me. So rather than ask questions to show off what I knew, I got better answers when I asked questions that I knew he would delight in correcting me. My job is to get answers, not show off questions. That's how I see it.
    During a recent Zoom, Mozeliak told me that I am the one who asks too much about "windows" and periods of contention in regards to peak years of star players, or payroll commitments, etc. I suggested to him that if he stopped giving revealing answers, I'd change the questions.
    The questions rarely appear in print.
    The answers always do.
    Why don't we hear much about Montero competing at 3rd this year? (To be clear, most of what I know about Montero I heard from you)
    The bat, probably. His age, too. Elehuris Montero is 22. He's a steady, good enough fielder, and he has his fans when it comes to offense, for sure. Especially after the year he had in Peoria. But it's mostly the thump part of the question that has followed him as he made it to the higher levels, was slowed, and now is looking for that traction again as a prospect.
    If the outfield is highest priority for an external upgrade, what are your thoughts about Sosa playing in a modified platoon at 3B against mainly lefties in 2021 to get a better read on his skills?
  • It would be better to get that read on his ability not in games that count first. He was trending toward a utility role at some point this past season, and then the season went sideways. Eager to see how he establishes himself in what passes as spring training and what work he gets this winter. He's got ability. Not sure how to commit at-bats in games that count to find that out, not if there's a minor-league season to do it or, better yet, time in exhibition schedule to do that.
    Not expecting a lot this off-season but could the Cardinals get creative by offering a deal that has little money this year and then increases as money comes off the books over the next few years?
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